US Consulate General in Hong Kong and Macau. Photos: Wikimedia Commons, Google Maps

Two mainland Chinese women were arrested on Thursday for setting off firecrackers in front of the building in Central that houses the US Consulate General in Hong Kong and Macau.

At noon, Hong Kong police received a report that two women had set off 20-centimeter-long Chinese firecrackers in front of the door of the consulate’s premises on Garden Road in Central, Oriental Daily report.

A lighter was found and debris from the firecrackers was scattered over the sidewalk.

The two women, aged 65 and 72, arrived in Hong Kong from Hunan province on Thursday morning with two-way permits. They said they had been facing unfair treatment on the mainland and wanted to attract public attention to their sufferings by setting off the firecrackers at the US Consulate.

However, they did not disclose more details on their unfair treatment, Sing Tao Daily reported.

The police were investigating their motivation and the source of the firecrackers.

A spokesman for the consulate said Hong Kong police were handling the case as the incident happened outside its premises, in a public area.

In Hong Kong, it is illegal to set off fireworks without a license. The fireworks shows over Victoria Harbour during special holidays  are organized by the Hong Kong government with sponsorship from local business communities.

Under the Dangerous Goods Ordinance, any person who manufactures, stores, possesses or sells fireworks without permission shall be liable upon conviction to a fine of HK$25,000 (US$3,200) and a prison term of up to six months. The penalty for any person who sets off fireworks is a HK$2,000 fine, Sing Pao reported.

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